Torres Strait Native Title Sea Rights and Malu Lamar

Thursday, 18 June 2015
Maluwap Nona
Jerry Stephen
Nazareth Fauid

1.1 Native Title and Torres Strait Sea: The Torres Strait is the home of native title in Australia. Although many Australians think that native title began with the High Court’s Mabo decision on 3 June 1992, native title is in fact the traditional laws and customs of Australia’s Indigenous people. Those traditional laws and customs have existed since time immemorial.
1.2 The Akiba Case: How the “Torres Strait Regional Sea Claim” commenced and proceeded through the Court process to the High Court’s Akiba decision in 2013.

1.3 Post Determination: Many people think that when a native title claim in the Courts is finally decided, that is the end of the matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. Overview of the whole world of opportunities as well as some disappointment which often follows.

1.4 The Future: Working through the challenges of turning aspirations into reality. Real outcomes involve the following:-
(a) How traditional laws comprising native title can be exercised with minimal restriction from outside laws and authorities.
(b) How traditional laws can be exercised to protect sites of cultural significance in the seas.
(c) Most importantly, how traditional laws can be used to achieve economic development outcomes for Torres Strait Islanders.